Next Guide: Best Pre Theatre Dining in Melbourne
Melbourne’s East End Theatre District is packed with an incredible array of eateries for pre-show dinners, so you can easily combine good food with a night of great entertainment. Take the drama out of pre-theatre dining with our picks to seek out before curtain’s up!
La Madonna Restaurant & Bar
Swathed over an entire floor of Next Hotel, this city gem provides a sophisticated launching pad for your night out. If you’re tempted to enjoy a tipple ahead of your show, get comfortable in the sleek bar where plush lounges, table service, intriguing barrel-aged cocktails and small bites make for a theatrical start to the evening. Or seek out La Madonna’s special Pre Theatre Dining Menu ($49pp) to sample some of the creative Milan-meets-Beijing style dishes that have earned Adrian Li and Danny Natoli a coveted chef’s hat.
Available from 5pm in the restaurant, select three dishes from their latest seasonal offerings plus dessert, with a welcome glass of Prosecco, wine or beer – all served with time to hop, skip or jump to a nearby show. Bookings a very good idea. Here
Level 3, 103 Little Collins Street
If something more casual in the form of cheeseburgers, yakitori style skewers or a devilled egg roll suits your pre-theatre vibe, look out for this new-ish kid on the Bourke Street block that’s set tongues wagging. Butcher’s Diner riffs on the classic American diner with checked floor tiles, communal bench and glass meat cabinets setting the scene to grab-and-go pre (or post) show.
10 Bourke Street
Jostle for a table at Melbourne institution The European, that’s nestled next door to The Princess Theatre. This stalwart wine bar offers elegant bistro dishes from France, Italy and Spain – and a wine list to match – to either move fast pre-show, or settle in after the final encore.
161 Spring Street
Prefer something extra fast before the show? S.P.Q.R, the latest offering from MoVida and Lee Ho Fook alumni David Mackintosh, could be exactly what you need. Grab a slice from the window out front or settle in with a glass of Victorian red or a refreshing locally brewed beer. Cured overnight and then baked in the 400-degree oven for just one minute, S.P.Q.R is a cut above those ‘by the slice’ pizza joints… but no less convenient for pre-theatre appetites.
26 Liverpool Street
Izakaya Den 2029
Pull up a stool at the 30-metre basement bar and get stuck into delicious Japanese-style tapas. The entertainment starts well before your show as you watch the chefs artfully slice up tasty morsels from their perch behind the bar, while Ninja-like waiters pour imported Japanese beers or cool, dry sakes.
Basement, 118 Russell Street